NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Brian Burns, Panthers, D.J. Moore, Saints


  • ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler says despite all of the Buccaneers’ additions and depth at wide receiver, they can’t be ruled out of the running to sign WR Odell Beckham Jr. in November.
  • He notes QB Tom Brady has been a fan of Beckham for a while and they have both enough cap space to work with and the capability to add more by restructuring LT Donovan Smith
  • Buccaneers HC Todd Bowles on whether DL Akiem Hicks will practice this week with a plantar fascia injury: “I’ll believe it when I see it. We thought he’d heal a little bit earlier than he did. It’s kind of a week-by-week thing right now.” (Auman)


The Falcons will continue to operate with a running back committee approach after the injury to Cordarrelle Patterson — and they might even stick with it when he gets back to keep the 31-year-old veteran fresh. Falcons HC Arthur Smith said they’ll try to play to the strengths of fifth-round RB Tyler Allgeier, RB Caleb Huntley and converted CB to RB Avery Williams as much as possible. 

“Depends on what we’re going to call,” Smith said via ESPN’s Michael Rothstein. “No different than certain things we ask guys to do when he was in there. There’s certain things, schemes that we may ask Tyler, just get everybody to roll. We like to play everybody.”

  • Both Smith and Falcons RB Damien Williams said it was a possibility the veteran would return to practice from injured reserve this week. Williams has been working through an incredibly painful rib cartilage injury. 
  • He told Rothstein mentally he’s ready to be back but he wants to be smart with his body. He’d also factor into the rotation once he’s healthy enough to play. 


  • The Athletic’s Joseph Person notes former Panthers LB Luke Kuechly is close with both interim HC Steve Wilks and Al Holcomb and wouldn’t rule out him returning in some capacity.
  • The Carolina Panthers aren’t engaged in any trade discussions involving WR D.J. Moore. There is belief around the league that some players in the organization will be made available for trade. (Tyler Dragon)
  • Moore and DE Brian Burns are the two players drawing the most trade interest right now from other teams but the Panthers aren’t inclined to move either of them. (Albert Breer)
  • Panthers owner David Tepper on giving out a seven-year contract to HC Matt Rhule and firing him less than three years into it: “I’m still learning, quite frankly.” (Jonathan Jones)
  • He was then asked if the home loss to the 49ers played a role in firing Rhule: “There might have been a little loss of intensity on the field yesterday [compared] to the first four games.” (Jones)
  • Tepper on GM Scott Fitterer: “Scott is our GM. There’s no thought of mind on a potential move there.” (Mike Kaye)
  • Tepper was asked if he’d give a head coach the same amount of power that he gave Rhule: “I think a balance is probably more appropriate between the coach and GM.” (Albert Breer)
  • When it comes to trading veterans, Tepper said: “I think that we have to figure out how to get a culture of winning here, which we haven’t had in a long time in this place … I don’t think it ever had a real culture of winning.” (Breer)
  • Tepper on the team’s future going forward: “We have to be very careful how we handle our limited resources.” (Ellis Williams)
  • Tepper on finding a franchise quarterback: “We may have that person right now. I believe will find that person going forward.” (Williams)
  • Tepper continued on the organization finding the right quarterback: “Ultimately, I”m the head of the organization. Ultimately, I always bear responsibility. I’m not the person that makes those decisions. I’m brought into those decisions.” (Andrew Siciliano)
  • As for Wilks, Tepper said if he “does an incredible job” he will contend for the head coaching job. (Armando Salguero)
  • Wilks on taking over in Carolina: “I stand here grateful for this opportunity but disappointed about how it came about.” (Williams)
  • Wilks said he wanted a different approach moving forward, which is why he chose to fire DC Phil Snow. (David Newton)
  • He confirmed Holcomb will call plays defensively, while CB coach Evan Cooper will have an increased role with the secondary going forward. (Williams)
  • As for if he will be a serious candidate for the full-time job after the season, Wilks said the following: “Whatever happens at the end of the year will take care of itself.” (Newton)
  • Wilks was asked if the team would be considering QB Sam Darnold to take over as the starter again: “I think we’re looking at everybody.”  (Mike Kaye)
  • During their time in Cleveland, Wilks also spent time with QB Baker Mayfield: “Baker was great in the locker room… a tough player. I have a lot of respect for him.” (Kimberley A. Martin)
  • Wilks remains optimistic that he can turn the team around: “Of course. I think the guys realize we have great talent within the locker room. They feel we’re just not hitting the mark yet. The confidence is there. We just have to find that consistency to turn it around.” (Jones)


  • ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler writes the Saints can’t be dismissed as a potential landing spot for WR Odell Beckham Jr., as they have ways to figure out the money and would be attractive for him as a return to Louisiana. The biggest obstacle is New Orleans’ quarterback situation lags behind other options Beckham has. 
  • Former Saints HC Sean Payton texted GM Mickey Loomis after TE Taysom Hill‘s strong performance last night saying: “If you’re uncomfortable with that 10 million dollar salary, let me know in a year or two and I’ll take it off your hands.” (Mike Nabors)
  • Saints HC Dennis Allen said CB Marshon Lattimore is still undergoing additional testing on Monday and Tuesday to determine the extent of his abdomen injury. (Katherine Terrell)
  • Allen said first-round WR Chris Olave is in concussion protocol and was feeling good on Monday morning: “We won’t put him back out there until he’s cleared to go by the doctors.” (Terrell)

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